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August 11, 2016

U.S., Mexico Create Dairy Alliance

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

Leaders of the U.S. and Mexican dairy industries have formed a U.S.-Mexico Dairy Alliance to further reduce trade barriers, exchange information and seek solutions to problems affecting both industries.

Meeting in Denver this week, the dairy leaders signed a memorandum creating the alliance. Signing the memorandum for the United States were Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation, and Tom Suber, president of the U.S. Dairy Export Council. Signing for Mexico were Salvador Álvarez Morán, president of the Mexico Livestock Association (CNOG) and Juan Carlos Pardo, president of the National Chamber of Industrial Milk (CANILEC).

The meeting and the Alliance re-energizes the momentum for trade created by the North American Free Trade Association, which went into force in 1994.

“Since NAFTA, our markets have converged seeing both U.S. and Mexican dairy farmers growing. U.S. dairy exports to Mexico have increased significantly, while Mexico’s internal milk production has also seen expansion,” says Mulhern.

“At the same time,” adds Suber, “volatile markets, increased imports from third countries and consumer misinformation about dairy products pose challenges for the dairy industries in both countries that can be best solved through both industries working together.”

The key challenges moving forward, say Mulhern and Suber, will to be further reduce trade barriers between the United States and Mexico, and defend against efforts to use generic cheese names such as asiago, feta and parmesan for the exclusive use of some European producers and processors.